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Orlando blooms from Empire (UK), September, 2002
typed by Cellardoor from the Orlando Bloom Fan Board

Or, the meteoric rise of an Elf called Legolas.

Winning Empire and MTV awards. Appearing in Gap ads for Cameron Crowe. Having studios retain "beard growth" approval for his role in the upcoming Ned Kelly. It's been a crazy six months for the 25 year old Canterbury Lad, but it could have been very different.

If Guildhall's scholarship student had got the role he auditioned for in Peter Jackson's trilogy, no-one would have heard of him - yet. Bloom was originally up for the part of Faramir, who doesn't appear until The Two Towers, and recorded his audition piece for that.

"Then a call came back saying that Faramir wasn't going to be made available to me, could I go on tape as Legolas? I was like 'Yeah, absof******lutely!'. Then I got another call, two days before I finished at Guildhall and I was screaming the place down. Eighteen months in New Zealand! It couldn't be better!"

That's not strictly true. What the role did involve is tough training for Bloom to fill the frame of the athletic Elf warrior.

"I had to be really good on a horse, because at one point in the second movie I am cantering along and I let go of the reigns and fire the bow and arrow."

Injuries were inevitable.

"I broke a rib," Bloom states matter-of-factly." I came off a horse. We'd done this shot five times and you have to imagine that the Orcs and Uruk-hai are around you and you are battering them down with your arrows. I had my hand on the reign and Brett Beattie (Gimli's stunt double) was behind me and had a horse that decided not to stop. I bailed and landed on a rock and Brett landed on top of me."

Ouch! Mind you, Bloom is used to injuries. He once fell three floors off a friend's balcony and was hospitalized for several days while doctors worked out whether he'd ever walk again. It wouldn't be a surprise to find him knocked off them again, in the barrage of publicity he's faced since Fellowship, but Bloom is trying to keep his cool and enjoy the ride.

"To work on a project like Lord of The Rings was amazing. It's so jiggy, I feel spoiled!"

Appearing in Empire isn't so bad, either.

"I'm so pleased, man. I've always wanted to be in films and I've been reading Empire for ever. When I was in New Zealand I got it sent over. I had all the creature comforts sent over!"